Larry George of Northwest Hazelnut Company sells 50% of American hazelnuts. 99% hazelnuts produced in America come from Oregon. George gave CDMedia a follow-on interview to our last conversation regarding the trade war with one of his biggest customers — China.
George has continued to meet with Washington officials to ensure a direct trading relationship with the Chinese, as well as developing other markets.
“The Trump administration has been very good, super supportive; we felt hugely honored to be taken so seriously from The White House.
“The Chinese have also been very open and supportive as they very much want a reliable supply of our product.
“Our tariff went from 25% to 65% during the trade war plus value added tax and we went to 81% per dollar and lost market share; our pricing went down substantially in 2018. In 2019 recovered somewhat but nowhere near where we need it to be.
“The phase one deal was signed in January and a Chinese delegation flew to Portland; we took them to meet our governor. The Democratic Party in Oregon has also been supportive.
“We made a case during that meeting that we needed a waiver to help support their efforts to buy American agriculture for the trade deal.
“We’re feeling incredibly optimistic we can navigate the phase one trade deal that the Trump administration put together for us.”